Black ice can form from melty snow, sleet, rain falling when the pavement is at freezing temperature, and even from the moisture in vehicle exhaust. The only thing the driver of any vehicle can do when on black ice is ride it out without braking or turning. It’s easy to think of a situation where this could lead to disaster. And, though we’re writing about motorcycles here, the tips apply to all drivers.
If you can spot black ice in the road ahead, you have a chance to avoid it or at least to slow down before you are on it. Black ice isn’t actually black; it’s clear and the road beneath it looks normal.
Start before you get on your motorcycle. Does the pavement seem dry, but with some shiny patches? Those patches are apt to be black ice.
Black ice can be found at any time, but it’s most common at sunrise and sunset and through the dark night, when it’s hardest to see. Shaded places, overpasses, and bridges are the most likely places to find black ice. Intersections can often have black ice due to exhaust.
Keep a good following distance between you and other vehicles.
If you do find yourself on black ice, don’t brake and don’t over-correct when steering.